An Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission involving 25 Irish companies, led by Seán Canney T.D., Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) & Flood Relief, in Toronto and Ottawa from May 31st to June 2nd has just concluded.

Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation driving the growth of Irish companies in global markets, announced during the Trade Mission, a 7.3% increase in exports to Canada, reaching €282mn in 2016.

The Mission supported Irish companies in furthering relationships with new and existing Canadian customers and promoted the potential of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Ireland and Canada.

Minister Canney said, “This has been a very successful trade mission to Canada and I congratulate all of the Enterprise Ireland client companies involved. This visit has served to strengthen our economic ties with Canada and raise awareness of what Ireland can offer in terms of world class, innovative products and services. It is clear that Canada is a country Ireland has great potential to partner with – already demonstrated by the success Irish companies have achieved.”

The mission focused on a number of key sectors, including Internet of Things, fintech, construction products and services, and retail technologies. Education, animation and digital media, engineering and consumer retail engagements were also featured. Highlights from the Trade Mission to Canada included:

• A trade visit to Flynn Group (Canada), where leading Irish suppliers including APA Systems (Dublin) and Carey Glass (Tipperary) have contributed to award winning multi-million dollar construction projects in Canada.
• Initiafy, a leading provider of on¬boarding and safety orientation software specifically tailored for contractors and temporary employees, expanding their Toronto based team to drive further success in the Canadian market.
• HealthBeacon, a digital health company which develops smart tools for managing medication announced the opening of a new office in Montreal, to serve its customer base in Canada.
• Leading Edge Group announcing a three year partnership agreement to provide a comprehensive Lean training programme with the City of Mississauga municipality, Canada’s sixth largest city.
• OnePosting announcing a significant contract for the provision of accounts payable automation with Shoppers Home Health Care, a leading Canadian player.
• Castlebar based Sport LoMo and Rugby Canada announcing a new multi-year partnership where Sport LoMo will serve as Rugby Canada’s technology supplier for the National Rugby Registration System and member management platform.
• Clare company Tekelek launching a major partnership with Paygo for $1.4m, a leader in Canada and US in fuel monitoring solutions.
• Focus on the animation sector and opportunity offered by the Ireland Canada Co-Production Treaty. This included a visit to Mercury Filmworks, Ottawa, recently supported by IDA Ireland in their joint venture, Lighthouse Studios, with Enterprise Ireland client Cartoon Saloon.
• Minister Canney addressed an Enterprise Ireland hosted Female Business Leaders Forum in Toronto, and led official engagements relating to CETA while in Ottawa.
Minister Canney also took part in a number of engagements to build on the strong relationship Ireland has with Canada including; the Ireland Canada Business Summit hosted in Toronto and Ottawa involving Enterprise Ireland, the Embassy of Ireland, the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce Toronto and Ottawa chapters, the Ireland Canada Business Association accompanied by Canadian Ambassador HE Mr. Kevin Vickers.

Leo McAdams, Divisional Manager, International Sales & Partnering, Enterprise Ireland said “We have intensified our focus on increasing the export market penetration and diversification of Irish companies following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Canada represents a growing market with further potential soon to be offered through CETA. I am pleased that with the support of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, additional resources are being added to our team in the Canadian market to further support Irish companies’ growth and diversification”.

The Enterprise Ireland Trade Mission to Canada is one of over 40 international trade visits planned for this year.

During the Trade Mission to Canada Minister Canney met with Clint Eland, CEO of Mercury Filmworks at their studios in Ottawa. The delegation, including IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland representatives, discussed the growing collaboration between Ireland and Canada in the Animation space. The recent opening of Lighthouse Studios in Kilkenny, a joint venture between Mercury Filmworks and Cartoon Saloon, (an Enterprise Ireland Client Company) was a key focus. This joint venture, supported by IDA Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, is set to create 140 Animation jobs at the studio over the next three years in Kilkenny. The creation of Lighthouse Studios is a sign of the growing importance of the Animation Sector to the Irish economy. The industry now employs over 1,600 in Ireland, and generated €70m turnover in 2016.